By 2:00 PM EST
What is a Gusset? What is Gusseted Bag?
It's easy to go through life without knowing what a gusset is. Loosely defined it is a rhomboidal piece of material or fabric that allows more room at the bottom of a good. The history of this technique is both ancient and has had recent innovations. Cannabis packaging now even uses this technique. Gusseted bags also have many benefits over the non-gusseted competition.
A gusset was originally the term for the piece of fabric used in pants or undergarments to provide flexibility to the crotch. This technique of forming clothing with this rhomboidal piece of fabric is a truly ancient practice that can still be seen on our clothing today. In the 1970's the United States Army Natick R&D Command, Reynolds Metals Company, and Continental Flexible Packaging worked together to produce the retort bag. This form of packaging allowed for food to be packaged and then sterilized at high temperatures to kill off any harmful bacteria. In 1978 they jointly received the Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award for the innovation. While the adoption of the retort bag has been slow, it has been steady. The biggest design change that the retort bag had over other packaging was a gusset on the bottom to allow the product to stand.
Enter the medical cannabis industry in California during the late 1990's and early 2000's. Medical cannabis dispensaries needed a way to package cannabis for individual sale in a way compliant with early laws. Traditional packaging allowed too much ultraviolet light in and would destroy the product's potency. Mylar was a great choice that quickly came to the forefront. Gusset mylar packaging existed for food based uses prior to the cannabis industry, but did not have a large industry to adopt its use. Mylar packaging provided everything cannabis companies were looking for at the time. Cost effectiveness, ability to keep the product stable, and the fact the packaging could be made to be child resistant all were great attractive features. The food safety standards of the space age material was an easy win for the industry.
Not all cannabis dispensaries or processing facilities use gusseted packaging for their products. Gusseted packaging is more expensive as the extra seem adds more to the manufacturing process. The benefits to using gusseted packaging include more space for the product, ability for the packaging to stand on a shelf or display, and the product will be less likely to be smashed by the time it reaches the end consumer. More space means the gusseted bags can accommodate product in a way that looks great. The ability to stand makes the bags stand out over the non-gusseted packaging at the dispensary. Lastly, the air is sealed with the product provides an extra cushion to product the product. There is some level of protection, but this isn't enough to protect the product from everything.